|Rudy Hartono Kurniawan|
|Birth name||Nio Hap Liang |
|Born||18 August 1949|
Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
Rudy Hartono Kurniawan (born Nio Hap Liang (Chinese: 梁海量; pinyin: Liáng Hǎiliàng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Niô͘ Hái-liâng); 18 August 1949) is an Indonesian former badminton player holding the record of winning the men's singles title at the All-England Championship eight times, seven times consecutively from 1968 to 1974. He won the World Championship in 1980 on his only attempt at this title. He is one of the most famous players in the history of the sport and is considered to be one of the greatest badminton players of all time.
Hartono was born on 18 August 1949 as Nio Hap Liang in Surabaya. He is the son of Zulkarnain Kurniawan and the third child of eight siblings in the family. His sister Utami Dewi is a five-time national badminton champion and former Indonesia Uber Cup team member. The family lived in Jalan Basuki Rachmat and owned tailoring and dairy farming businesses. The young Hartono embraced many types of sports, including athletics, swimming, volleyball, football, and roller skating, but his athletic path soon led him towards badminton.
At age 11, Hartono started formal badminton training under the tutelage of his father. He would train for almost the entire day in a small badminton club set up by his father in a railway station warehouse. In 1961, he entered his first tournament at the Surabaya's junior championship when he was 12 and won. After leaving his father's club, Hartono would later play for the much bigger Rajawali Club where many good Indonesian badminton players were trained. At age 15, he won the national junior championship. While competing in municipal tournaments, the teenage Hartono soon caught the eye of the national scouts and was drafted into the National Training Center in late 1965 to help the national team in the upcoming Thomas Cup.
As a member of the 1967 Thomas Cup squad, Hartono won all of his matches, but Indonesia was beaten by Malaysia in a highly controversial final in which play was suspended due to the unruly crowd. Both teams were later offered a chance to resume their clash in New Zealand but Indonesia declined, thus handing Malaysia the cup.
A year later, on his first try at the All England Championships, the 18-year-old Hartono became the youngest ever champion of the tournament, beating Tan Aik Huang from Malaysia who had been the winner two years earlier. From then on, he dominated the event like very few had before, winning seven titles consecutively from 1968 to 1974. In 1975, in search of his eighth consecutive title and the chance to break Erland Kops’s record of seven, Hartono would once again face the challenge of his archrival, Svend Pri, who he had beaten before in the 1970 and 1972 finals, but this time he was not able to fend off the Dane’s attack and fell to a 11–15, 14–17 defeat. Hartono, however, came back the following year to win his eighth title against his compatriot Liem Swie King thus becoming the most successful men’s singles player in the history of the tournament. His eight titles at the All England also earned Hartono a mention in the Guinness Book of Records. In 1978, Hartono would return to try his hand for a ninth title, but he could not overcome Liem Swie King and lost 10–15, 3–15 in the final. He attempted another comeback in 1981, but lost in the semi-finals to Prakash Padukone in a three sets battle, 15–10, 7–15, 8–15.
Besides his All England success, Hartono won many international open titles throughout his career. In 1969, he won the Canadian and the US Open titles after defeating Sture Johnsson and his compatriot Muljadi in the respective finals. In the same year, he also won both the Singapore Open men's singles and doubles titles. He defeated Muljadi in the singles final and partnered with Indratno to beat Lee Wah Chin and Yeo Ah Seng in the doubles final. In 1971, he won his second Canadian Open title and clinched his first Denmark Open title after defeating Ippei Kojima on both occasions. He also competed in the Western Indian Championship that year and won a hat trick of titles, beating Muljadi in the men's singles final, partnered with Indra Gunawan to beat Muljadi and Sumiratta in the men's doubles final and partnered with Rafla Latif to beat Indra Gunawan and Sunila Ape in the mixed doubles final. In 1973 and 1975, Hartono won his second and third Denmark Open titles after beating Flemming Delfs and Svend Pri respectively. In 1981, he would win his maiden Japan Open title after beating his compatriot Lius Pongoh in the final.
Hartono also had some success in major games. At the 1970 Asian Games held in Bangkok, he won gold in the men's team event and two bronze in the men's doubles and mixed doubles events. In 1971, he would win another gold at the Asian Championships where Indonesia defeated Malaysia in the men's team final. In the 1972 Munich Games in which badminton was presented as a demonstration sport, Hartono won the men’s singles event, after beating Jamie Paulson of Canada in the first round, Sture Johnsson of Sweden in the semi-finals, and Svend Pri of Denmark in the final. In his attempt to win an 'official' world championships, Hartono participated in the 1980 IBF World Championships held in Jakarta and managed to reach the final where he would meet his successor Liem Swie King. In a final that lacked intensity, Hartono prevailed in two straight games with the score of 15–9, 15–9.
Since his debut in 1967, Hartono remained active in the Thomas Cup competition and continued to play for his country at the event from 1970 to 1982. The 1970, 1973, 1976, and 1979 Thomas Cup would turn out to be a resounding success for Hartono and his team, with Indonesia sweeping four straight titles. At the 1982 Thomas Cup Finals, the aging Hartono once again answered the call of his nation but his play was not on par with his previous performances and he was not able to help his team to prevent China from winning their first ever Thomas Cup title. Hartono’s defeat in the third singles to Luan Jin was only his second defeat in the competition with the first coming in 1973 when he lost against his long-time nemesis Svend Pri. After the competition, Hartono announced his retirement, saying "I believe I have to retire now... Actually, I was already retired. But this was the Thomas Cup and my country needed me and because I live in Indonesia and I love Indonesia, I must do what they ask."
Hartono became involved with the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), holding different positions such as Chairman of Development Affairs until 2006. He is currently a member of PBSI’s Board of Honour. Hartono also played an active role within the Badminton World Federation (BWF). He was a member of the Council in 1985-1986, and later from 1994 to 2009. Hartono’s image and reputation led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to appoint him as a Goodwill Ambassador for Indonesia.
Hartono who attended the Economics Faculty of Trisakti University, Jakarta, also began to expand his business after his retirement. He ventured into dairy business in Sukabumi and also the sports equipment business by acting as an agent for brands such as Mikasa, Ascot and Yonex. Then through PT Havilah Citra Footwear founded in 1996, he imported various kinds of sportswear.
Hartono married Jane Anwar in 1976 and they have two children, a son (Christopher) and a daughter (Christine).
In the late 70s and early 80s, age began to catch up to Hartono and he started losing matches. This resulted in his depression. He credits a preacher for his "conversion experience" to Christianity during his mid-30s. Later, the death of Svend Pri in 1983 prompted Hartono to preach about Jesus to others. In 1988, Hartono had coronary bypass surgery in Australia. Since 1989, Hartono has been extremely active with his church ministry. In 2001, Hartono became associate pastor of Bethel Church in Jakarta, Indonesia.
A film lover, Hartono once starred in an Indonesian movie titled "Matinja Seorang Bidadari" (Death of An Angel) in 1971.
Hartono also had a wax sculpture in his likeness at the Madame Tussauds museum in Singapore.
|1972||Munich, West Germany||Svend Pri||15–6, 15–1||Gold|||
|1980||Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia||Liem Swie King||15–9, 15–9||Gold|||
|1970||Kittikachorn Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Indra Gunawan|| Punch Gunalan
Ng Boon Bee
|12–15, 15–10, 10–15||Bronze|||
|1970||Kittikachorn Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand||Minarni|| Bandid Jaiyen
|1968||All England Open||Tan Aik Huang||15–12, 15–9||Winner|||
|1968||Singapore Pesta||Darmadi||9–15, 15–7, 10–15||Runner-up|||
|1968||Northern Indian||Muljadi||15–2, 15–10||Winner|||
|1968||Western Indian||Darmadi||17–14, 18–14||Winner|||
|1969||All England Open||Darmadi||15–1, 15–3||Winner|||
|1969||U.S. Open||Muljadi||15–9, 15–12||Winner|||
|1969||Canadian Open||Sture Johnsson||15–11, 15–1||Winner|||
|1969||Singapore Open||Muljadi||15–7, 15–4||Winner|||
|1970||All England Open||Svend Pri||15–7, 15–1||Winner|||
|1971||Western Indian||Muljadi||15–11, 15–12||Winner|||
|1971||Denmark Open||Ippei Kojima||14–18, 15–14, 15–11||Winner|||
|1971||All England Open||Muljadi||15–1, 15–5||Winner|||
|1971||Canadian Open||Ippei Kojima||15–7, 15–2||Winner|||
|1971||U.S. Open||Muljadi||8–15, 9–15||Runner-up|||
|1972||All England Open||Svend Pri||15–9, 15–4||Winner|||
|1972||Jakarta Open||Iie Sumirat||15–4, 15–5||Winner|||
|1973||All England Open||Christian Hadinata||15–4, 15–2||Winner|||
|1973||Denmark Open||Flemming Delfs||17–14, 15–12||Winner|||
|1974||All England Open||Punch Gunalan||8–15, 15–9, 15–10||Winner|||
|1975||All England Open||Svend Pri||11–15, 14–17||Runner-up|||
|1975||Denmark Open||Svend Pri||12–15, 15–0, 15–7||Winner|||
|1976||All England Open||Liem Swie King||15–7, 15–7||Winner|||
|1978||All England Open||Liem Swie King||10–15, 3–15||Runner-up|||
|1980||English Masters||Liem Swie King||11–15, 3–15||Runner-up|||
|1980||Swedish Open||Prakash Padukone||15–9, 12–15, 1–15||Runner-up|||
|1981||Japan Open||Lius Pongoh||15–9, 15–8||Winner|||
|1968||Northern Indian||Indratno|| Punch Gunalan
Tan Yee Khan
|3–15, 15–6, 15–7||Winner|||
|1968||Western Indian||Indratno|| Ng Boon Bee
Tan Yee Khan
|1969||Singapore Open||Indratno|| Lee Wah Chin
Yeo Ah Seng
|1971||Western Indian||Indra Gunawan|| Muljadi
|1971||Denmark Open||Indra Gunawan|| Punch Gunalan
Ng Boon Bee
|15–11, 4–15, 8–15||Runner-up|||
|1971||All England Open||Indra Gunawan|| Punch Gunalan
Ng Boon Bee
|1971||Western Indian||Rafla Latif|| Indra Gunawan
|1972||World Invitational Championships||Svend Pri||15–5, 15–2||Gold|||